[LIVE REVIEW] RADKEY @ THE BARFLY, CAMDEN, LONDON – 05/11/2015
The beginning of November brought knee-knocking weather, so there is no other way to warm yourself up by watching the punk band Radkey. On a never-ending tour they’d bought a few support act and first up on the bill was Loom.
Many of the early birds at the gig had no idea who this band were, except for their parents who were beaming with excitement at the end of the bar. Unfortunately, they were the only ones through the whole set who appeared to enjoy it. The music of a punk band who have tried to incorporate The Doors into their sound and failed is one that can forgotten quickly. The only interesting part of the set, using the word “interesting” lightly, was when the lead singer did a front flip into an invisible crowd leaving around five people (including their parents) unaware of what just happened.
The final support act however did not disappoint, the two-piece band God Damn walked on stage and the audience miraculously tripled in the blink of an eye. With songs like When The Wind Blows a hard hitting drum by Ash who looked similar to Side Show Bob from The Simpsons, and a scratching vocals from Thom, the set sparked electricity around the room. What was interesting about this double act was how they could shred drums, vocals and guitars with ease, and able to mix in a groove in between to create a smooth punk vibe especially with tracks like Vultures. This band has supported Foo Fighters before. They know what they’re doing.
Finally, America finest Radkey came on and the crowd exploded. All three members wearing Ray Ban sunglasses. They couldn’t look any cooler. Hitting out songs like Love Spills, which echoed a modern day Ramones, the beat hit you to the bones and the bass shook everyone and everything. Lead singer Dee’s deep vocals set a dark punk vibe, whilst playing guitar with similar ways to Jimi Hendrix. That’s right Hendrix. The band of brothers have such a connection the set was flawless like most of the crowds.
From the beginning to the end, mosh pits circled like an electric whisk. Except for one song that could potentially have been their best track of night. Hunger Pains was a combination of a 60s drum groove and Radkeys’ sharp dark guitar riffs. The crowd didn’t stop moshing because they didn’t enjoy it, they stopped to admire what was being played on the stage. The trio ended with Romance Dawn a tune that kicks off with a military beat which continues and ends in one word. Carnage. As the band end they don’t walk straight off stage, they walk straight through the crowd to shake nearly everybody’s hand. The most humble punks you’ll ever meet. As everyone leaves ears are ringing like fire alarms, but there’s not one person who doesn’t have a smile on their face.
Words by Sam Rees